Rogers Wireless Applies to Become Bank

By Ed Silverstein September 09, 2011

Rogers Wireless has applied to become a bank and the move would give the phone company a greater role in the promising mobile money sector, according to media reports.

Rethink Wireless reports that Rogers filed under Canada's Federal Bank Act to become a bank, and wants to offer a "niche credit card opportunity."

The proposed "Rogers Bank" will focus mainly on credit, payment and charge card services, according to TechZone360.

Such is step is considered “rare for a phone company,” reports The Toronto Globe & Mail.

But Rogers indicates it does not plan to open full service bank branches.

Mobile analyst Chetan Sharma told GigaOM that Rogers wants to "see if they can extract more value by keeping a portion of these transactions. Another impact would be to reduce churn, keep consumers a few months longer and increase the lifetime value of users," according to Rethink Wireless.

Rogers had no specific date when cards would be introduced and noted the application could take over a year, The Globe & Mail reports.

“We routinely explore opportunities to strengthen our position as a leader and innovator in the communications industry. While our core strengths remain in communications and media, we are always looking for more ways to deliver value to our customers,” Rogers spokeswoman Carly Suppa was quoted by TechZone360. “The license, if granted, would give us the flexibility to pursue a niche credit card opportunity to our customers should this make sense at a future date.”

Other operators are also trying to have a greater role in m-payments, both via online and through NFC handsets swiped in brick and mortar stores, Rethink Wireless says. For instance, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile formed Isis, a joint venture in the United States. Also, Telefonica O2 filed with the UK Financial Services Authority to get approved as a payment service provider in the United Kingdom. And NTT DoCoMo of Japan has a banking operation in Asia.

With such a move, customers can place retail charges on their monthly cell phone bills. Entering a phone number at the point of purchase is five times more likely to result in a purchase than credit card billing, according to an Open Market study cited by Rethink Wireless.

“Mobile operator billing offers a way to charge for goods and services using financial relationships that in some markets are more prevalent than credit cards," adds José Valles, head of BlueVia, in a statement quoted by Rethink Wireless.

Rogers Communications is Canada’s largest wireless company.

Want to learn more about the latest in communications and technology? Then be sure to attend ITEXPO West 2011, taking place Sept. 13-15, 2011, in Austin, Texas. ITEXPO offers an educational program to help corporate decision makers select the right IP-based voice, video, fax and unified communications solutions to improve their operations. It's also where service providers learn how to profitably roll out the services their subscribers are clamoring for – and where resellers can learn about new growth opportunities. To register, click here.

Ed Silverstein is a TechZone360 contributor. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Rich Steeves

TechZone360 Contributor

Related Articles

Modern Moms Shaping Influence

By: Maurice Nagle    7/19/2018

Everyone knows Mom knows best. The internet is enabling a new era in sharing, and sparking a more enlightened, communal shopping experience. Mommy blo…

Read More

Why People Don't Update Their Computers

By: Special Guest    7/13/2018

When the WannaCry ransomware attacked companies all over the world in 2017, experts soon realized it was meant to be stopped by regular updating. Even…

Read More

More Intelligence About The New Intelligence

By: Rich Tehrani    7/9/2018

TMC recently announced the launch of three new artificial intelligence events under the banner of The New Intelligence. I recently spoke with TMC's Ex…

Read More

Technology, Innovation, and Compliance: How Businesses Approach the Digital Age

By: Special Guest    6/29/2018

Organizations must align internally to achieve effective innovation. Companies should consider creating cross-functional teams or, at a minimum, incre…

Read More

Contribute Your Brain Power to The New Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    6/28/2018

The three events that are part of The New Intelligence are all about how businesses and service providers, and their customers, can benefit from artif…

Read More